They say teachers are the best purveyors of knowledge. A wildlife NGO in Assam has launched a training programme for teachers not only to spread the message of wildlife conservation but also to help them with environment education so that they can work as experts in the field. Aaranyak, an NGO working for biodiversity conservation since 1989, recently held a training programme for 26 teachers at Bansbari range of the Manas National Park. All the teachers were drawn from schools located in the fringe areas of the park. The programme was conducted jointly with Paris-based NGO Awely, which aims at preserving endangered species and biodiversity, said Jayanta Kumar Pathak, Aaranyak's training and education officer.
"A teacher is an ideal person who can lead and guide society by his or her knowledge and wisdom. So we thought of generating awareness through one of the most respected professions in society," he said. The training programme focused mainly on human-elephant co-existence. "The programme aimed at generating a pool of teachers around the park to address human and elephant conflict and also to capacitate them for curriculum based environment education," he said. Various activities were carried out during the programme like interaction with conservation experts, discussions on elephant biology, encroachment on elephant habitats, human-elephant conflict and illegal activities in elephant habitats. "We learnt many crucial things about conservation and I wish to implement them in the classroom," said Bimalu Kherkatary, a teacher of Bormajra Middle English School.